writers The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today  

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List Rules Authors and writers who are still alive. Vote up the best, most talented, living writers.

If you consider yourself a bibliophile, this list of the absolute best living authors should be of great interest to you. It features writers who have forever shaped the literary world, producing many books that will go down in history as classics. The art form of literature and writing usually attempts to depict the changing world around us in one aspect or another. It's important to understand the times in which we live and forever record that for the next generation to read. Who are the best living writers attempting this feat?

The novelists on this list are some of the most famous writers in history, not just in modern times. Many of the books these authors have written have been made into blockbuster films, while others are simply modern day literary classics, that need to be read to be truly appreciated. These writers, and their works, will be remembered for generations to come.

This list features the best living writers who are producing some of the world’s best written work including, Philip Roth, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Stephen King, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, and Tom Wolfe. Vote up the best living authors below and see how the writers you think are the best rank!

1
+ - 491 279
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Cormac McCarthy All the Pretty Horses, Child of God, No Country for Old Men

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2
+ - 558 385
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Stephen King The Shining, The Stand, Carrie

3
+ - 645 467
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
J. K. Rowling Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy

4
+ - 322 228
Thomas Pynchon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Thomas Pynchon V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow

5
+ - 355 258
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Haruki Murakami A Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

6
+ - 267 183
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Toni Morrison Jazz, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

7
+ - 256 175
Philip Roth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Philip Roth American Pastoral, The Human Strain

8
+ - 202 131
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Don DeLillo White Noise, Libra, Mao II

9
+ - 252 167
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Alias Grace

10
+ - 170 103
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
J. M. Coetzee Life & Times of Michael K, Foe, Age of Iron

11
+ - 228 162
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children, Shame, Fury

12
+ - 193 125
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke

13
+ - 143 87
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
John Irving The Cider House Rules, A Son of the Circus, A Prayer for Owen Meany

14
+ - 164 107
Alice Munro is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Alice Munro Friend of My Youth, Open Secrets, The Love of a Good Woman

15
+ - 157 112
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Ian McEwan Saturday, The Innocent, Atonement

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16
+ - 128 83
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
George R. R. Martin A Game of Thrones, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons

17
+ - 223 168
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Neil Gaiman Stardust, The Graveyard Book, American Gods

18
+ - 80 41
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, A Wizard of Earthsea

19
+ - 153 108
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Kazuo Ishiguro The Saddest Music in the World, The White Countess, The Unconsoled

20
+ - 134 96
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Tom Wolfe The Last American Hero, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff

21
+ - 119 83
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Michael Chabon Wonder Boys, Summerland, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

22
+ - 118 90
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

23
+ - 93 62
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
John le Carré The Tailor of Panama, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

24
+ - 77 41
Khaled Hosseini is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Cometas En El Cielo / The Kite Runner

25
+ - 69 42
Mario Vargas Llosa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Mario Vargas Llosa The Feast of the Goat, The Way to Paradise, The Cubs and Other Stories

26
+ - 72 48
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Rick Riordan The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Red Pyramid

27
+ - 88 69
Donna Tartt is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Donna Tartt The Secret History, The Little Friend, The Goldfinch

28
+ - 103 82
Joan Didion is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Joan Didion Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays, The Year of Magical Thinking

29
+ - 104 80
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Junot Díaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, This is How You Lose Her

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30
+ - 92 77
Jeffrey Eugenides is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Jeffrey Eugenides The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot, Middlesex

31
+ - 97 84
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Joyce Carol Oates Snowfall, Love and Its Derangements and Other Poems, The Journals of Joyce Carol Oates

32
+ - 65 55
V.S. Naipaul is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
V.S. Naipaul A Bend in the River, A House for Mr Biswas, In a Free State

33
+ - 123 104
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club, Choke, Rant

34
+ - 82 73
Barbara Kingsolver is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Vegetable Miracle, The Bean Trees

35
+ - 124 112
Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Jonathan Franzen The Twenty-Seventh City, How to Be Alone, Freedom

36
+ - 38 28
Bill Bryson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Bill Bryson A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, A Short History of Nearly Everything, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir

37
+ - 38 29
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, La Flor Purpura

38
+ - 39 32
John Banville is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
John Banville Albert Nobbs, The Book of Evidence, The Sea

39
+ - 40 37
Julian Barnes is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Julian Barnes Flaubert's Parrot, The Porcupine, The Lemon Table

40
+ - 68 59
John Green is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
John Green The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines

41
+ - 40 35
Christian Kracht is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Christian Kracht Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten, Finsterworld, Faserland

42
+ - 79 72
Marilynne Robinson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Marilynne Robinson Housekeeping, Gilead, Home

43
+ - 99 104
Zadie Smith is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Zadie Smith Piece of Flesh, White Teeth, On Beauty

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44
+ - 39 39
Sherman Alexie is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Sherman Alexie Smoke Signals, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Reservation Blues

45
+ - 70 66
Isabel Allende is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Isabel Allende Giving Birth, Finding Form, Eva Luna

46
+ - 76 73
Dean Koontz is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Dean Koontz Phantoms, Demon Seed, Reino de Las Tinieblas

47
+ - 69 66
Martin Amis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Martin Amis Money, London Fields

48
+ - 44 45
Tobias Wolff is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Tobias Wolff This Boy's Life: A Memoir, Old School, The Barracks Thief

49
+ - 35 35
Roger Scruton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Roger Scruton The Future of the European Past, The aesthetics of architecture, An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy

50
+ - 44 46
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Gene Wolfe An Evil Guest, Return to the Whorl, On Blue's Waters